My adventures serving in the Peace Corps

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bad day

I'm having a bad day and decided to rant about it. Here's why:
1. Remember the goat I wrote about in my last post, who was it by a moto? About two days ago, it just decided to give up on life (even though it had been eating and walking much better the day before). It laid down in the dirt and didn't move for almost 48 hours, refusing food or water. So, for as hard and sad as it was, we all decided to let it go. The thing is, it was taking FOREVER to die, just sitting there wheezing and moaning for two full days. As of last night it was still alive, and I woke up around 1am to the sound of pounding rain that lasted for at least an hour. The poor thing drowned in a puddle that formed around it. SO sad. And my neighbors just laughed at me the whole time it was dying when I would squat by it and pet it a bit. God forbid we show a little compassion.
2. AWFUL day teaching. The kids refused to sweep the class (as usual), so we started late. I reminded them that this was our last week together, so please leave me with good memories of them, and they proceeded to act worse than ever. I sent several kids home, changed many of their seats, and took points off their conduct grades, but to no avail. When I told them that I was sad they were acting this way during our second-to-last class together, they just laughed. It was horrible. After talking to some other TEFL volunteers, this seems to be the case across the board since the school year is extended and the kids are really antsy. I know it's a lot to hope for, but I just want this last bit of teaching to feel good and go smoothly.
3. As usual, I offered to help edit all of the English exams. However, the secretary has gotten bold and told me she wanted me to TYPE all of them, getting angry when I told her I didn't have time to do that, even though it's HER job.
4. I am in Lokossa to get money from the bank because I literally had none. Our taxi broke down about a mile outside the city, so I ended up having to walk the rest of the way, in the midday sun. I can't even count the number of "Bonjour cherie!"s I got en route, and one man actually became furious that I didn't respond to him.
5. Now, in the cybercafe, the man next to me is unabashedly looking at porn online and touching himself to boot. Fabulous.
I also tried to fete Angele for her birthday, i.e. I gave her some money to buy fish and rice. Well, she bought the things and prepared them, but her husband came home so we couldn't eat until about 6 hours later because he gave her somany things to do. By the time we ate, she only served me and her husband, and I don't think she got any even though it was HER birthday. The food was also cold and a litte rancid.
I went to the mayor's office yesterday to ask for money for the girls' transport to Camp GLOW, which he gave me, though the whole encounter was a bit uncomfortable after his advances towards me last year. Sigh. My house is also a disaster right now, plus all the stress getting ready for camp and the end of the year and COS.
So, needless to say I'm not the happiest camper today. The good news is that I'm now taking 6 girls to Camp GLOW, and when I informed the sixth girl, the BIGGEST smile spread across her face and she got really giddy. It's so good to see a reaction like that out of girls who are used to being so stoic around their superiors! Camp is coming up FAST- can you believe it's June now??- 19 days! The kittens are also helping keep me sane. Their ears have opened and they can walk pretty normally now. They have also become extremey playful... so cute!


loehrke said...


Death isn't very pretty. It's portrayed that way in movies but I've found that it's almost always ugly and hard. I'm happy you showed the goat some sympathy at the end. It was the right thing to do.

A lot of times when people are getting ready to separate they misbehave as a way of breaking the connection a little early. If they act like they don't care then maybe it gets easier to say goodbye. I think this is a universal reaction. I've seen it from my MEDICAL STUDENTS before they leave Kalamazoo for residencies elsewhere, if that makes you feel any better.

As a man I feel like I can say this: Men are pigs. But in Benin men are REALLY pigs. Good Lord.

Remember the smile on the 6th girls face. That is why you are there. And she will NEVER forget you.

Can't wait to take you to Food Dance for breakfast someday again.
Stay strong, Mark Loehrke (Carly's dad)

Catherine said...

ohhhhhhhhh my god angelina. i was so excited to open up your email and read your post until i noticed the title. im sorry you're having such a rough time!

Porn...that tops it off, doesn't it. oh, beninese men. you know what i love about benin is that the people there, no matter how well you think you know them, never cease to surprise you. For instance. I was talking to my maman today for like 40 minutes and i found out for the first time ever that my host brother is not infact her son but her nephew cause her sister's husband died, and she raised him. but he just ran away from home in Porto novo to live with his mom in village. craaaazy.

that is so sad and upsetting about the goat. It would bother me too that they'd laugh. I was just talking about beninese peoples' conceptions of animals the other day and the lack of compassion they feel toward them.

I can't blame the kids. School is extended to July isn't it?? i mean, they should be out by now. Plus their parents are probably annoyed that they aren't helping in the fields and stuff. Happy official start of rainy season by the way.

ARe you ready for camp? new stagieres? you going to go meet them? Anyway i miss you and i will talk to you soon!! stay're almost done.